DDC | Madrid | 24 de Agosto de 2016 - 14:00 CEST.
"These seem to be the Olympics of nationalized Cubans nationalized by
other countries," wrote a DIARIO DE CUBA collaborator a few days ago
before the closing of the Olympic Games in Río. These were another Games
at which the medal forecast for the Cuban contingent was not achieved.
The victories of Cuba-born athletes on other countries' teams,
compounded by the failure to meet Cuba's official goals, spurred a
spokesman for the regime to brand Olympic runner Orlando Ortega an
"ex-Cuban." Certain circles were outraged that Ortega embraced the
Spanish flag to celebrate his victory, and it almost seemed that he was
about to recite Bonifacio Byrne's best-known poem about his dilemma of
being torn between two flags.
What lurks behind all this patriotic posturing is alarm at a set of
dangerous images: wrapped in the flag of Spain, or Turkey, or
Azerbaijan, or Italy, Cuba-born medalists belie the official argument
that those who emigrate from Cuba always do so for economic reasons, and
do not have any political disputes with the regime.
Resolved to realize their full potential, these medalists born in Cuba
were forced to make a political decision. Now they represent other
flags, wrapping themselves in them when they emerge victorious. They
compete for their adopted countries because the obtuseness of the
Island's authorities impelled them to become political emigrants.
Other societies do not find it outrageous or strange that nationalized
athletes compete for their countries of origin. They even promote it. In
the case of Cuba this becomes highly problematic, a matter of State.
However, the problem has more to do with the political authorities than
The authorities will have to learn to respect the athletes' freedom and
capacities, or they will be forced to increasingly resort to the lowly
civil registry tactic of snubbing them as ex-Cubans, a sour-grapes
reaction that will not wrest medals from Olympic champions like Orlando
Ortega, Yasmani Copello, Lorenzo Sotomayor, Osmany Juantorena, Frank
Chamizo and others who, under their respective flags, arise in the future.
Source: Sour grapes | Diario de Cuba -